BigCommerce is an Open SaaS eCommerce platform that serves tens of thousands of merchants in 150+ countries. We exist to help merchants of all sizes sell more. To accomplish this we have developed a world-class solution to launch and manage online storefronts using either a desktop web browser or mobile device.
Unlike other platforms, the BigCommerce mobile team has made it a priority to develop its apps natively. This allows us to stay on top of the latest development trends in both iOS and Android while delivering the superior user experience merchants expect from a mobile app.
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Jetpack Compose, Android’s new modern UI framework, supports our team’s goal of being both flexible and performant, while reducing the likelihood of bugs. Compose is more opinionated than the previous UI framework, allowing the team to more readily use best practices and establish shared patterns in the code.
Easy for Developers
Compose reduces cognitive load
Jetpack Compose has been instrumental for the BigCommerce mobile team because of its ability to reduce complexity. Previously, Android development required working with multiple languages, such as Java and XML, and code for displaying a single view was often split across multiple files and folders in the project. With Jetpack Compose we use a single language (Kotlin) for both designing and managing the UI, and the number of files needed to create something as simple as a list of data has been greatly reduced.
Compose was easy to get started
Google’s Android team wanted to make Jetpack Compose available to as many developers as possible, allowing the code to work seamlessly with existing projects. This interoperability meant that we were able to start using Compose for new screens while slowly migrating existing screens to the new patterns.
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In addition, Jetpack Compose provides a standard way of creating views. In the previous Android UI framework, there were different code patterns for different view types. One might use adapters to populate data while others relied on injecting the data directly into the view. With Compose, all views adhere to the same patterns. Once you learn how to create one view, it’s easy to apply the concepts to other view types.
Great for Users
One of the pillars of the BigCommerce mobile team is having a positive user experience. It drives much of our decision making, and we spend a lot of time researching what our users want and need out of a mobile app.
It can sometimes be difficult to justify a change in the underlying technology if users don’t notice the impact. With Jetpack Compose, however, the decision was easy. We knew that switching over would eventually mean faster development and higher quality code. This delivers more features and less bugs for our users, and ultimately allows our users to focus their time on managing their stores, not fighting with the technology that powers them.
As we move forward to deliver the most value to our users, Compose will be a foundational element for the Android app. We have already seen tremendous benefits from using the technology and look forward to the exciting ways we can deliver important features for our merchants.
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